tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News November 29, 2014 11:00am-11:31am PST
this week on "the journal editorial report", chuck hagel is out after 20 months at the pentagon, is he the fall guy for the white house's failed foreign policy? plus, nuclear negotiations are extended again giving iran seven more months to build a bomb. and from national security setbacks to his go it alone governance, is president obama hurting hillary clinton's chances in 2016? ♪ welcome to the journal editorial report. i'm paul gigot, chuck hagel resigned after 20 months at the helm of the pentagon, reportedly
pushed out by president obama. in a move that further consolidates national security decision-making in the white house. and raises questions about the direction of the administration's foreign policy last two years. for more i'm join by wall street journal columnist dan henninger, brett stevens and editorial board member matt kaminski. what's fascinating here, many on the right and left in talking about the hagel resignation, base he canally say the problem with obama's foreign policy isn't hagel, wasn't hagel, it's in the white house. >> the thing is chuck hagel is a nonenty as a chief at the pentagon. he started out very badly at his confirmation hearings, could never articulate the policy and then after he was thrown over the white house spun he was really not up to the job, they picked him for the job in the first place. but he was not the problem with the foreign policy -- >> you say he's a nonentity. that's the white house spin.
but is that fair or was the real problem the fact that the white house wanted to make all of the decisions, hired him as a so-called implementer of the policy and as the world changed, he decided, maybe our policy needs to change and started representing the generals who didn't really like the obama foreign policy? >> i'm not sure how much support he had in the house at the pentagon. he was not going to go down as one of the stronger secretaries of defense. again, he was immaterial to the failures because the foreign policy is so centralized and the reason they pushed him out because he was not the yes man they thought they were putting in -- >> exactly. >> and was pushing back at the end and was frustrated but had no ip influence. >> he said -- spoke up and said with chairman dempsey that isis was a bigger threat than the white house was admitting and pushed back on syria, said we need to get clarity if we succeed against isis and the
white house didn't like that. >> that's absolutely true. you can give him a point or two for seeing the light. this was an incompetent secretary of defense who had his agenda, mainly a personal agenda to serve in the office and incomprehend national security office and the two didn't get along. this could be an opportunity for the president to pivot on defense issue and national security and choose a strong capable secretary of defense in the mold of some of the previous likely, panetta and robert gates. my guess the to continue to run defense policy out of the white house -- >> confidence is not high that that is going -- that kind of pivot is going -- >> confidence is not high anywhere in the world about obama foreign policy. it's sort of an irony here, one of the criticisms that came out of the pentagon, that the white house insists on micromanaging
policy. but the pentagon also said that they could not get decisions out of this white house, that their ability to make decisions is very weak. you know, that's what you hear in the capitals all over the world. the saudis would say to people, what is obama's strategic policy in this region because we'll get visited by a secretary of defense and secretary of state and they are all coming in with different ideas about what we should be doing. >> i will say, we're not making this up. everybody who comes through from anybody, any country, europe, middle east or so, they all have the same message. >> what is the policy? >> the policy is to have less foreign policy and hope to offshore our strategic problems to some other countries except when it matter to the administration, for instance, iran. there's a sense of a shrinking american footprint in allies from japan to israel to baltic states and poland are asking where's the united states. >> matt, is there a sign of a
larger shake-up here in the staff? >> i don't think so. i think this isnly that will fall. they went out of their way to praise john kerry and susan rice will stay put as national security adviser. the crisis of confidence is also in the obama administration. i keep saying -- >> you mean inside? >> clearly not worked for them. if you're working on a team where things are not working out, even president obama might have self-doubts. >> that's why you have some of this sniping as hagel goes out the door, most unseemly, this is not what -- had that dog and pony show where they shook hands in the white house -- >> this was several weeks in the making. this didn't just happen overnight, what i don't understand, why don't they have a replacement ready to go right away? we're living in a period of serious national security crises, that's not an awful you want to leave unfilled.
>> who would want to take the job? unless you're willing to be a yes man as matt suggested. do what the president wants you to do. john kerry got the climate deal with china and pursuing the agreement with iran. chuck hagel started to push back on guantanamo and middle east and he was out of there. who will they find that says yes. >> michelle flor na is one of favorites under secretary of defense. she took herself out for precisely that reason. not be a job that would be easy to take. problem is, we've still got two more years of this administration. >> when we come back, more time for tehran, the administration agrees to extend nuclear negotiations until june. so does it give us a real shot at striking a deal or iran seven more months to build a bomb? ♪ p...push it real good! ♪ ♪ ow! ♪ oooh baby baby...baby baby.
wenchts. we don't want just any agreement, we want the right agreement. time and again from the day he took office president obama has been crystal clear that we must ensure that iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, period. >> secretary of state john kerry in vienna announcing monday that the u.s. and partners have agreed to extend nuclear talks with iran for seven more months after negotiators failed for the second time this year to meet the deadline for a deal. so bret, since that announcement, a lot of talk in the media and by the negotiators, including the french, saying a lot of progress here, that justified the extension. how do you read it? >> the gaps are nar rowing because the west keeps making concessions to iran. they are only nar rowing in one direction, not as if the iran n iranians are coming our way fl you'll hear we've frozen the
iranian nuclear program. what we've mostly frozen is the part of the program they have perfected but we hear from the director general of the international atomic energy agency that the iranians keep stonewalling on giving all of the information about suspected nuclear military -- >> these are so-called u.n. inspectors? >> right, exactly. so the iranians keep doing what they want to do to perfect the technologies they haven't yet perfected, mainly the weaponization side of making a bomb and agreed to the suspension of what the enrichment aspect, something as they've said they can start up at any time. >> here's what the administration would say, isn't that kind of freezing even that better than calling the talks off and breakout of what could be a sprint by iran to get a weapon? >> iran could sprint really at any time. what we're doing is we're in the process of deceiving ourselves that we have frozen a program that is by no means frozen. the iranians keep making
progress. bear in mind, we've only frozen part of the program that the iranians have declared but they have a 20-year track record of deceiving the west, deceiving the international community and maintaining a part of the program in a covert fashion. so this is part of the problem. we are imagining that we're seeing the whole of their program but we know from past experience that there's always something else. >> anybody here a little more optimistic take on this? >> it's hard to be more optimistic. the thing the administration won't forget or liberals won't recognize, iranian is a idealogical revolution and legitimacy is defined by getting nuclear capability. they have spent billions and billions of dollars to get to this point. the idea they are going to negotiate that sets this aside is simply a pipe dream but liberals like john kerry and barack obama won't recognize rea
aalty. >> if you put inspectors in there and get them to reduce the uranium they enrich and limit the number of centrifuges, don't you at least reduce the chances of a breakout capability? and give it some time, kerry keeps talking about a year, if they did move towards getting a bomb, we could then at least take action. >> the iranians have seen through this -- >> is that question not right? >> that's a good question but iranians for iran is not a negotiation. it's basically they understand that we are giving them time by starting this process last year. we lifted both the military pressure and the economic pressure that was put there painstakingly with÷÷nñ the sanctions. what happened, the economy has gotten better in iran and currency has stabilized. on the military side, that threat of any military strike by west is off the table. no one believes president obama is going to go near there or
make that credible threat happen. for iran they are saying, okay, let's bid time to get sanctions going and progress on the bomb seven months, 12 months, this is this is what i don't get, why don't the iranians, why don't they get right up to the cusp of having a bomb and could maybe keep a covert operation on the side and yet they get sanctions to vanish and could help their economy? >> there are a number of reasons, they probably thenk they can get a better deal by continuing concessions because it's always the west that makes concessions, dan's point is fundamental. this is not a pragmatic issue but an idealogical issue for them. it's about not bending to the global arrogance and acquiring a nuclear capability, whether a weapon or breakout capability that puts them on equal footing. once a country has a nuclear weapon, that country has strategic opportunities that
countries without nuclear weapons don't. >> north korea, pakistan, india, these are countries that by force we have to respect and can't really -- >> isn't the implication that maybe nuclear -- that military force is the only way to stop them? >> either that or sanctions that are so crippling that it really puts iranians to a fundamental rechoi rechoice, regime or the bomb. >> from the foreign policy failures, is president obama damaging hillary clinton's chances in 2016? foreign markets. asian debt that recognizes the shift in the global economy. you know, the kind that capitalizes on diversity across the credit spectrum and gets exposure to frontier and emerging markets. if you convert 4-quarter p/e of the s&p 500, its yield is doing a lot better... if you've had to become your own investment expert, maybe it's time for bny mellon, a different kind of wealth manager ...and black swans are unpredictable.
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is president obama hurting hillary clinton's chances in 2016, in a wall street journal op-ed, it is argued that quotas a candidate mrs. clinton would inherit a damaged party and as former member of the administration struggle with the consequences of mr. obama's go it alone governance. we're bag with dan henninger and jason riley and washington columnist kim straussel also joins the panel. is barack obama hillary clinton's biggest obstacle to the white house? >> yeah, here's hillary clinton's problem, she's going to inherit a party that is damaged because it's been increasingly dominated by thanks to obama, the liberal faction of the party pushing policies and demanding policies not popular with vast majority of ksh --
i'll give you an example, keystone pipe line and this issue of national security. if you go to 2008, those would have been probably easy calls for hillary clinton, she ran as the democratic candidate who represented the white working class. she was all about middle class incomes doing well. but she has very careful and no opinions, made no statements on whether or not she supports keystone, wants to keep things like the nsa program in place. by the way, remember she was very big, her point was she was stronger on foreign policy than barack obama. she hasn't touched those because for the left in her party, those have become symbolic issues that you cannot support those things. she stuck in between these two issues and she's just saying nothing. >> but she did embrace the president's immigration executive order right away, without any doubts. if obama is such an obstacle to her, why do that? >> that's a risk but she wants
those hispanic voters and she thinks that will help -- he thinks that will help her as well. this he agree on that. kim is right, hillary clinton needs barack obama to move to the middle. and he's decided to double down on his policies that the midterm election showed to be unpopular with most of the electorate. his approval rating is only 40%, it's below 40%. >> in some surveys, yeah. >> this is not a president with a whole lot of political capital. hillary clinton does not have his care is ma or his campaign skills, to compile a damaged brand on top that makes things difficult for her. >> she did try in her book to separate herself on foreign policy some, saying writing that she had a different point of view on syria, for example, would have done more to intervene earlier to help the moderate opposition to assad, how else does she separate herself from obama? >> the main area -- she'll have
to talk about foreign policy and i think probably voters would give her a little bit of a pass on that foreign policy, you just simply define who you want to deal with. >> even though she was his secretary of state? >> it was -- we watched that closely. i don't think the average voter watched it all that closely. it's domestic policy where she's really going to have to separate herself from obama but her problem is that the democratic left is the -- is the group that defeated hillary clinton in those primaries and barack obama was their president. he has been the embodiment i think of the left's policies. you cannot get elected president, i don't believe, by simply running to the left. how does she square the circle between holding them in place but making a broader appeal to the american people? >> kim, you have any good advice for hillary clinton for how to do that? what issues would you pick? >> there are very simple issues, foreign policy should be one. she's got a legacy as you say
that's going to be difficult for her to run from. she's going to be somewhat dragged down. look at things like energy, for instance and key stone. those should be easy calls. she nearly won the primary in 2008 by getting what our people call clinton democrats. folks that have been unhappy pae to the left. you go out and support more drilling and connect that to an agenda which democrats claim to have of helping middle class voters, those are things she could separate herself on. would she do it? i don't know, the environmental left dominates the party now thanks to obama. >> another issue she may have a problem, listen to chuck schumer talking about obama care. >> unfortunately democrats blew the opportunity the american people gave them. we took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem. health care reform. now the plight of unsured
americans and hardships called by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed. but it wasn't the change we were hired to make. >> whoa nelly, the young problem, health care reform? i mean -- >> it illustrates how hillary clinton won't be able to run on obama's record because there isn't much of one. what he considers accomplishments are being denounced in his own party. >> does this mean -- is schumer front running hillary clinton to suggest i'm going to attack obama care and base beiically p the way for hillary clinton to -- >> i think he is in her camp. i wouldn't put that past himmal at all. >> the white house already attacking schumer. >> that speech was stunning to say obamacare was a mistake. but what he also said, the democrats are the party of government.
we have to make clear to the american people how government works. i can't wait to see how he does that. >> we have to take one more break. when we come back, hits and misses of the week. hey! i guess we're going to need a new santa ♪(the music builds to a climax.) more people are coming to audi than ever before. see why now is the best time. audi will cover your first month's payment on select models at the season of audi sales event. visit audioffers.com today.
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this is truecar. ♪ time for hits and misses of the week. >> this is a miss for the rioters in ferguson, also a miss for the media who continue to refer to them as protesters. the criminality of michael brown should be denounced instead of being minimumiced. >> kimberly? >> irs commissioner has been insisting for six months that his agency cannot turn over to congressional investigators e-mails from lois lerner, those e-mails have been destroyed. this is a huge mess on the back of the news that the treasury inspector general has found all of those e-mails, surprised just
sitting on a backup tape which the irs either didn't bother to look at or purposely ignored. >> imagine that. dan? >> a hit to two of the best known senators, ted cruz and al franken of minnesota, having a street fight over net neutrality. a lot of people find it confusing, whether the government should regulate the internet or not. after al franken said ted cruz had no idea what he was talking about, ted cruz produced a youtube video and it's actually pretty good. i would say by standards of washington discourse this is definitely progress. >> what's going to happen? who's going to win? >> ted cruz is going to win, believe it or not and i thnk we should throw him a bouquet for once. >> i wish i could agree with you. i think president obama may side with franken instead, just a guess. if you have your own hit or miss, be sure to tweet it to us at jer at fox news.com. thanks to my panel and all of you for watching, i'm paul
gigot. hope to see you right here next week. as we know, the white house promised action on immigration and eventually the president delivered. but now we're getting an inside look into what we are months of closed door meetings during the secret high level talks, administration officials including homeland security secretary jeh johnson were instructed to quote, use the president's legal authorities to the fullest. the big news and thanks for joining us this saturday, i'm leland vittert. >> nice to be with you as well. >> you as well o